It’s been three and a half years since we’ve updated our site. We stopped when things got boring. But we had started way before that (in 2005) when GPS navigation systems were just becoming easily accessible for everyone. The hardware got cheaper, more capable and more accurate. Brands like Garmin and TomTom sold lots and lots of units in the U.S. and Europe. But then the smartphones started taking over. The same components that went into a standalone GPS navigation system on your dashboard could easily fit into your smartphones. Naturally at some point people didn’t want a separate device for GPS navigation when they already had the same thing (or better) in their smartphones. A new GPS navigation system meant refreshing your app on your phone. Not much to talk about. So we stopped updating Navigadget. But.. but.. maybe there are other things we can talk about here. Let us know what you think. How has this space changed? Who are the big players? Google and Facebook? Who still invests in map making? Maybe we’re back. Maybe not. We shall see.
Cobra also just announced two new GPS navigation system targeting professional drivers. Cobra 8000 and 6000 Pro HD differ in size more than anything else. Former has a bigger 7″ screen whereas 6000 has a 5″ screen.
Some of the features of these two GPS navigation systems include full-color, high-definition touch screen display,
free Lifetime map updates, junction view with lane assist, multi-point routing to reduce fuel cost and more.
They both include over 33,000 trucker-friendly POIs for information on fueling stations, restaurants, rest stops, heavy duty towing services, truck and trailer repair shops, truck-friendly hotels, weigh stations, certified scales, and more coming from ProMiles and TruckDown
Database partner TomTom which provides more than 1 million additional miles of road coverage in the U.S. than the competing map.
Other features include hours-of-Service timers and more.
Garmin today announced dezl 760, another truck gps navigation system from the company with a 7″ screen. A new feature on the new Dezl 760 is the Active Lane Guidance feature which tries to help truckers with intersections and lanes. Other features include the ability to log hours of service, and a loud speaker so you can hear over the engine.
Other features of the new Garmin dezl760lmt include truck-specific routes and turn-by-turn directions based on vehicle’s size and weight. Another logging feature on this new Garmin is the fuel usage and it also has fleet management interface.
Garmin’s new truck GPS navigation system dēzl 760 will be available end of this year and will cost $400.
Tomtom came out with a new smartphone mounting kit for your windshield that works with iPhones or any other smartphones. The main features is that it includes bluetooth connectivity making phone calls easier. It has an embedded 2W speaker for a much needed audio boost and an extendable microphone so the other side can hear you clearly as well. It supports both portrait and landscape mode, charges your device while you’re on the go and also makes navigation a lot easier with their own GPS navigation app.
Standard default version will cost £80 while the iPhone version will cost £130 which also includes the navigation app.
According to a press release that came out yesterday shipment of GPS and location based services will grow at a compound annual rate of 15% during the next three years which will add up to 1 billion units by 2015.
Since countries other than US are deploying their own satellite based navigation systems such as Japan, China, and India GPS technology is expected to be embraced at a higher rate in these regions.
The study suggests most of the boost in this segment will come from smartphone based GPS systems as it was established within the past years.
Uses of GPS technology is very wide which includes academic, business, aviation, maritime, construction, scientific, weather and various other fields.
Garmin came out with a new GPS watch called Garmin Fenix. It’s expected to hit the market this coming August and cost somewhere around $400. Some of the highlights of Garmin Fenix, in addition to the GPS receiver of course, is the compass, altimeter, barometer, and the optional external ANT connected temperature sensor. Some other features include the ability to plan trips and create routes, record waypoints, and record GPS bread crumb trails. You can also navigate to coordinates if you wish. You also get a 3-axis electronic compass to get your heading even when you’re stationary.
Fenix, which is water proof to 50 meters can last 50 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 weeks in plain watch mode.
A new system have been developed to protect military vehicles from GPS jamming by using already existing radio waves to locate rather than relying on GPS satellite signals. The system uses cell phone, Wifi, and TV signals to locate a person or a vehicle but can even use GPS jamming signals to correctly get a position fix.
The system is developed by BAE Systems and it intends to keep military drones safe from GPS spoofing attacks which we recently mentioned here on Navigadget.
Known as NAVSOP, this technology scavenges radio signals from the air and can work indoors or even underground where wimpy GPS satellite signals can’t reach. This technology could replace GPS in the future.
TomTom just announced that they’re enabling all of its 60 million GPS navigation systems to receive daily map changes via the TomTom Map Share community. If you haven’t heard of Map Share before; it is a crowd sourced system that allows drivers to update TomTom map on their own device, but also receive changes from other TomTom users.
With Map Share drivers can quickly share frequent road changes. Some longer term changes such as new roads or roundabouts are validated via TomTom and made available quarterly.
GPS works really well outdoors. Achieving same accuracy indoors however is not as easy.
Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, funded by Google is working on a system where users can rely on their smartphones to locate their position in a covered environment. It is dubbed UnLoc. The idea behind it is analogous to how people use landmarks in outdoor environments. But they take advantage of invisible landmarks in indoor environments that your phone can sense. These could be distinct motion signatures created by elevators or stairwells, because the phone can detect motion, or certain dead spots where WiFi or 3G signals are absent.
Once such an invisible landmark is sensed, the phone can infer its current location, and then track its path from that point forward using motion sensors (such as accelerometers, compasses and gyroscopes). The tracking may become inaccurate over time, but as the phone hits other landmarks, it continuously corrects its location.
The application does not need any previous knowledge of the environment which is known as wardriving. It is a recursive application that gets better and better as it is used. It also requires less energy since it doesn’t rely on GPS signals to figure out your location. It’s been tested in a mall and it can achieve 1.6 meter accuracy.
The development of the UnLoc technique was supported by the National Science Foundation and Google.